Red Letters

Red Letters


Gifts with a Purpose: My Interview with “Established Signs” Founder Karla Bates

posted by Tom Davis

Simple. Original. One-of-a-kind. Every Christmas gift should be as compelling as a personalized family sign from Established Signs.

This Christmas, you can purchase an “Established Sign” for your family that includes your family’s name and the date it was established. Pretty simple and original. Each piece is handmade and completely unique.

Best part: The proceeds of your purchase will feed an orphan in Uganda at the HopeChest Adacar CarePoint.

Add this to the list of ways you can make Christmas more meaningful this year by honoring your family and providing for orphans in need.

I asked Karla to share the back story about Established Signs. Keep reading to find out more about her amazing heart for helping the poor, and how she’s allowed God to use her creativity in ways that she never expected.

»Buy an Established Sign Today!«

Tell us a little bit about yourself and Established Signs.
My name is Karla Bates and I am a stay-at-home mother of four kids and a wife to my incredible husband for the past 12 years.  As the owner and founder of Established Signs, I make personalized signs for families or businesses that simply state the name of the family/business and the year it was established.

How did you come up with the idea?
One day I found an interesting piece of wood in the backyard.  It was unique, and I wanted to do something creative with it.  I made the first established sign for my family and it hangs in our kitchen.  I  never considered myself a creative person but the Lord had been revealing a whole new side of my being that I honestly never knew was there.  Ever since, countless people would comment on the sign,  ask where I got it,  and request for me to make them one.

Since the economy had taken a downturn and things were getting tighter financially, my husband and I discussed the need for me to get a job.  We have always been committed to keeping me at home because we knew that was best for our family.  It was becoming more and more evident that would not be able to happen.

A few days later, I was sitting in a booth in Chick-Fil-A, moaning to my friend about my having to get a job and all of my fears that went along with it, “I haven’t worked in ten years,” “I am an excellent diaper changer, toilet cleaner, and manager of many peoples’ schedules but what does that look like on a resume?”  My fears were very paralyzing and as I looked up through my tears to receive my friend’s comforting words, she looked me straight in the eyes and said: “I don’t feel bad for you. God has made you a creative person so do something with it.”

That morning the idea of Established Signs was birthed.

Who does Established Signs benefit?
For every sign we sell this Christmas, Established Signs will make a donation to Children’s HopeChest to provide one month of food for a child at the Adacar CarePoint in Uganda. One purchase by one family equals one month of meals for one child. Each sign costs $37, and provides not only a gift for your family, but the gift of food for a child.

I have always had a heart for fighting human trafficking, but have not known what to do with that burden.  I read  something you wrote recently that said, “Fighting poverty is the best way we can fight human trafficking.”  We were exposed to HopeChest through our friend Melanie Dale who is a representative for  HopeChest and the Adacar CarePoint.  We fell in love with the vision that our family could become entwined with the people of Adecar and make a difference in a community far, far away.  We sponsor a litte boy named Nicholas in Adacar and this summer my husband got to go and visit him, love on him and have his heart broken for the people in this community.

What’s your motivation for Established Signs?
We have two sayings around our house: “It is not by chance that we were born in the richest country in the world”.  And the other is, “We have a responsibility as followers of Christ.” These are common words in our home that my husband and I share with each other.  Individually, we have travelled to different parts of the world and have seen great poverty and every time we are more and more uncomfortable with the inequality of resources and their distribution around the world.

I have always desired to be a part of creating something that benefitted other people.  This summer when my husband came home from Adacar he discussed the great work that HopeChest is doing and also the great needs that remained. We knew we wanted to be a part of what God was doing.  We are continually amazed at how far our little goes.

Where can readers order their own “Established Sign?” 
You can purchase your personalized sign at Established Signs on Facebook.  Depending on where you live in the country it takes approximatley 1-2 weeks for delivery. I would order by December 10 if you want to make sure you get one in time for Christmas.



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